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GRAND FORKS — North Dakota’s House minority leader will not seek another term as the head Democrat in one of the Legislature’s chambers.

Rep. Corey Mock of Grand Forks announced Saturday he would step aside from a another term as the lead Democrat in the state House, leaving the title open to Rep. Joshua Boschee, D-Fargo.

“It’s been an honor to serve in caucus leadership over the past six years,” Mock said in a statement. “But my passion has been building bipartisan relationships and developing a strategic plan for the state of North Dakota, and I’m better positioned for success as a ranking member of our entire legislative team as opposed to leader of the minority party at this time.”

As a ranking member of the legislative team, Mock said he could focus on forming bipartisan leadership. He said it is “vital for political leaders to invest in our own personal and professional development during and outside of legislative sessions.”

“Partisanship is tearing families, communities, and even our country apart,” Mock said in the statement. “We desperately need to put our ‘red’ and ‘blue’ jerseys in storage for a while and begin wearing our Team North Dakota uniforms.”

Boschee, who lost a bid for secretary of state to incumbent Al Jaeger in the general election, announced last month he would run for House minority leader. No one else announced they wanted the position as of Saturday afternoon.

“Rep. Boschee is a passionate public servant with four years of experience serving as our Democratic caucus chair, and he’s well-positioned to assume the responsibilities of floor leader beginning next week,” Mock said in the statement. “I cannot think of a more appropriate legislator to serve as Democratic party leader at this time than Josh.”

Mock, who has been in the House since 2009, said he plans on running for his seat in 2020 but “has not made any hard decisions one way or the other.”

Boschee did not return a message left by Forum News Service by press time.

In the Senate, Republican Sen. Rich Wardner of Dickinson is the majority leader. Senate Minority Leader Joan Heckaman of New Rockford plans to run for her Democratic leadership position again, and no one has announced as of Saturday that they would seek to unseat her.

Democrats will choose their House and Senate leadership Sunday in Bismarck, a day before the North Dakota Legislative Assembly organizes.

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